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How To Cook Steamer Clams?

How To Cook Steamer Clams?

Last Updated on 17th December 2021 by

How To Cook Steamers

There are some specific rules to cook steamers. To learn how to cook steamers, you must know the different processes to cook steamer clams and serve the best dishes. Steamer clams live on the East Coast of North Carolina.

They live on the Pacific coast of Washington, Alaska, Western Europe, and California. Softshell clams with long necks are the steamers. Clams need to be cooked to the right temperature and time to make them edible. You need to ensure that the steamers are perfectly cooked before serving them.

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How To Cook Steamers?

There are many recipes for steamers. To know How to cook steamers on a stove, follow the instructions below.


  • 3 to 4 pounds Softshell steamer Clams
  • ½ cup Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Salt


  • To get the steamer clams ready for cooking, you need to clean the clams perfectly. 
  • For this, soak the steamers in a large bowl of seawater or saltwater if seawater is unavailable.
  • Soak the streamers overnight for the best results.
  • When the clams are clean, you will see that the water has sand and other dirt particles.
  • Now that the clams are ready, it is time to steam the clams. 
  • Add 2 cups of water to the clams and bring it to a boil on the stove.
  • Divide the steamer boiled water between the bowls for serving.
  • Place the clams in the bowls.
  • Add a dollop of butter into the bowl and let it melt.
  • Serve it hot. Pair it with Balsamic roasted potatoes or baked sweet potatoes for an enhanced taste.
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Tips For Making Steamers Great

Cooking a steamer is not as simple as it looks. You need to keep in mind a few things to ensure that the clams are cooked to perfection. Now that you know how to cook steamers clams, you need to follow the tips given below to cook the steamer and serve it to your guests. 


  • Add enough water to the clams, cover them with cold water up to 2 to 3 inches.
  • Add around 1 cup of salt over it to clean the clams from within.
  • All loose dirt and grit can be removed from the clams when they are placed in salt water. You need to soak the clams in water for at least one hour. It works best when you leave the clams overnight in the saltwater.
  • While choosing the clams, look out for cracks and broken shells. If there are cracks, do not use them. It is a sign of the clams not being fresh enough.
  • Do not use already dead clams for cooking as they might not be very tasteful.
  • Do not overcook the clams. It spoils the texture and taste of the clams.
  • For shells that are open, slightly tap on them; they will close immediately. If they do not close, the clams are dead. Do not use them. 
  • If on slight tapping the shell breaks, do not use these clams as they tend to be spoilt.
  • Try to cook your steamer as soon as you bring them from the market.
  • If the clams do not open up after cooking, they are either not cooked or is spoiled. Discard them immediately and do not use them for cooking.

soft shell clams with butter

Alternative Recipes

There are many recipes of steamer clams that are made easily at home. You can use beer and wine to add the taste of clams as well. Some of the alternative recipes of clams are as below.

How To Cook Steamers
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How To Cook Steamers With Beer?

Steamer clams with beer need only a few ingredients and few steps to follow.


  • 2 pounds Softshell steamer clams cleaned
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted butter melted
  • 2 cloves Garlic Cloves minced
  • 200 ml Beer
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper freshly ground
  • 2-3 slices Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Parsley coarsely chopped


  • Clean the clams overnight in saltwater.
  • Drain the water and keep the clams aside.
  • Add the butter to a skillet.
  • Add the garlic and saute till light brown.
  • Add the clams to the skillet and stir the mixture.
  • Pour the beer over the clams on the stove.
  • Add the pepper, parsley, and lemon to it for the best taste.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and boil it for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Let the clams open up to indicate that they are cooked nicely.
  • Serve it hot right after cooking.

How To Cook Steamers With Wine?

To know how to cook steamers with wine, follow the steps below.

The only difference from the previous ingredients is wine in place of the beer. Add the wine to the clams while the clams are being sauteed on the skillet. Do not cook the clams in the wine for more than 7 to 9 minutes.

After the clams are cooked in the wine, turn off the stove and add the lemon juice. Stir the mixture nicely and serve the clam with toasted bread. 

plated soft shell clams

How Long Does It Take To Cook Steamers?

To cook steamers perfectly, you need to ensure that they are cooked for the exact minutes specified in each recipe. However, most steamer clams need just 10-12 minutes to get cooked completely, provided they are cleaned before that in saltwater.

If you overcook the clams, they become chewy and leathery. Cook the clams over slow heat for 8 to 10 minutes to make sure the meat is perfectly done. If the clams are chewy and the meat seems tough, place them in a bowl of water, wine, etc.

Open the clams up with the help of a fork and let them soak in some water. On soaking water, the rubbery nature of the overcooked clams might reduce slightly.

Cook your clams perfectly and serve them with dishes such as roasted potatoes and buttered corn. Have a great time indulging in delicious and well-cooked steamer clams.


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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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